What to do with pregnant MPs? Watch

AperfectBalance
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(Original post by The Sec(C) Nerd)
The UK is such a hostile environment towards parenthood. Only the eternal Anglo could be so depraved as to think your job matters more than your baby.
The baby matters more than the job so she should quit her job. Also it sounds like you are a seething non Brit, probably from some nation that is only a footnote in the history books.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by ThomH97)
I've talked about proxy voting. It doesn't cover all of an MP's duties though, even if we restrict it to just constituency work and picking 'Aye' or 'No'. It's certainly easier to stay connected these days, but I'd be surprised if a prominent MP came out and said it was all so easy they could do it from home. Creasy herself talks about attending protests and running committees on issues important to her constituents, you wouldn't get the same commitment from a proxy reading from a pre-prepared script.
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but not all MPs have duties beyond simply voting; not every MP is involved in committees, protests, etc.

If an MP runs a committee which is important to their constituents but later drops out (temporarily or permanently) from said committee then is this any different (from the perspective of a constituent) to an MP who simply does not listen to their electorate at all?


(Original post by Good bloke)
If someone else can fulfil her role, and she seems to expect it, why would she be paid to do it as well. She asked to be elected and now has other priorities and ambitions. She is letting her constituents down.

Why do you think the main role of an MP is to vote?
Because... that's how maternity pay works throughout the rest of the UK? Not sure what you're objecting to here, an MP claiming maternity leave and SMP or just the general idea of maternity leave and SMP. She would not be paid her full MP salary during said leave either.
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ThomH97
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#23
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#23
(Original post by SHallowvale)
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but not all MPs have duties beyond simply voting; not every MP is involved in committees, protests, etc.
You are correct, but what about the MPs who do hold surgeries, actively campaign for things etc? Especially those who made that part of their election campaign? The goal here isn't to find one lazy MP who could be replaced by a voting parrot, it's to determine if we want to be represented by voting parrots, nobody at all, or a newly elected MP once the child-prioritising one stands down.

If an MP runs a committee which is important to their constituents but later drops out (temporarily or permanently) from said committee then is this any different (from the perspective of a constituent) to an MP who simply does not listen to their electorate at all?
Both are bad. We shouldn't be aiming to make MPs as useless as one who doesn't listen to their electorate.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by ThomH97)
You are correct, but what about the MPs who do hold surgeries, actively campaign for things etc? Especially those who made that part of their election campaign? The goal here isn't to find one lazy MP who could be replaced by a voting parrot, it's to determine if we want to be represented by voting parrots, nobody at all, or a newly elected MP once the child-prioritising one stands down.

Both are bad. We shouldn't be aiming to make MPs as useless as one who doesn't listen to their electorate.
If they make it part of their election campaign and then decide not to act upon it then surely it should be up to their electorate to decide their fate come the next election?
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ThomH97
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
If they make it part of their election campaign and then decide not to act upon it then surely it should be up to their electorate to decide their fate come the next election?
Is that really the attitude you want MPs to have, they can do whatever because the electorate will have the chance to boot them out in 5 years? I mean, it's true that that is the bare minimum you can get away with (you can only be recalled if you are convicted, and even then it's a struggle, see Fiona Onasanya), but I would hope to have a higher standard of behaviour than that from MPs.

What would you want your MP to do, once elected to Parliament?
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by ThomH97)
Both are bad. We shouldn't be aiming to make MPs as useless as one who doesn't listen to their electorate.
No-one would accuse Gordon Brown of being lazy but how much constituency work was he able to do in Kirkcaldy from 1997 to 2010?

How often was Blair seen in Sedgefield other than when showing off a foreign leader?

Secretaries of State for NI are expected to hobnob at Hillsborough Castle at weekends as a sort of quasi-governor. How often are they seen in their constituencies. How often is Karen Bradley in Leek?

The reality is that constituency officers and other local MPs have to cover for many absent MPs.

At least one MP spent much of the Great War as a POW. Churchill interned one of his Tory colleagues from 1940-1945. MPs served in the military overseas during both World Wars. Other MPs have been sent to hold posts abroad.

Many MPs have died in office after lengthy illnesses when they were unable to do much. Paul Flynn died in February 2019. When was his last public appearance? 2017?
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Burton Bridge
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ThomH97

What are you saying, women MP's should not be allowed to have children if they are elected as an MP for missing 26 weeks work? (standard maternity leave). She's an employee not a slave! Her job would be held open for her a replacement found just lkke what happens in every other job in the country! She made the choice who replaces her for the time she cannot work is not her decision it's her employers.

As for why should we pay her and her replacement, that's simple because she is an employee and she is entitled to employment rights like everyone else.

I don't see the problem, she's chosen motherhood herself nobody held a gun to her head. She can take her entitled leave and then return to work like everyone else in the country. No issues what so ever.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but not all MPs have duties beyond simply voting She would not be paid her full MP salary during said leave either.
You are misinformed on both counts. MPs deal with constituents' problems in surgeries, and MPs get full pay no matter whether they serve or not.
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ThomH97
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#29
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#29
(Original post by nulli tertius)
No-one would accuse Gordon Brown of being lazy but how much constituency work was he able to do in Kirkcaldy from 1997 to 2010?

How often was Blair seen in Sedgefield other than when showing off a foreign leader?

Secretaries of State for NI are expected to hobnob at Hillsborough Castle at weekends as a sort of quasi-governor. How often are they seen in their constituencies. How often is Karen Bradley in Leek?

The reality is that constituency officers and other local MPs have to cover for many absent MPs.

At least one MP spent much of the Great War as a POW. Churchill interned one of his Tory colleagues from 1940-1945. MPs served in the military overseas during both World Wars. Other MPs have been sent to hold posts abroad.

Many MPs have died in office after lengthy illnesses when they were unable to do much. Paul Flynn died in February 2019. When was his last public appearance? 2017?
Is your overarching argument that there are a few exceptions you'd already accept, so one more (that would become a lot more prevalent than all those combined) is fine?

I don't think it's a good thing to find more and more excuses for MPs to do less and less, though there are exceptions - I don't see a planned pregnancy taking out 1 year in 5 but not telling your constituents beforehand that you only wanted to represent them for 4 as good.
(Original post by Burton Bridge)
ThomH97

What are you saying, women MP's should not be allowed to have children if they are elected as an MP for missing 26 weeks work? (standard maternity leave). She's an employee not a slave! Her job would be held open for her a replacement found just lkke what happens in every other job in the country! She made the choice who replaces her for the time she cannot work is not her decision it's her employers.

As for why should we pay her and her replacement, that's simple because she is an employee and she is entitled to employment rights like everyone else.

I don't see the problem, she's chosen motherhood herself nobody held a gun to her head. She can take her entitled leave and then return to work like everyone else in the country. No issues what so ever.
I've already addressed many of these things in my OP.

An MP takes on a contract to represent tens of thousands of people for 5 years, and wins that contract largely based on their individuality (and I would argue that moving further towards electing your MP based only on the colour of their rosette is bad). Perhaps she should accept that she can't fulfil what she promised to do and let her constituents pick someone else. Or she can stay on and subcontract the stuff that she can't do to someone else, paying them from the rather large salary she already receives.

You have also conflated (as Creasy did) having children and being a stay-at-home mum. These are very different things. It is a common sexist attitude to have though, but you can easily reveal it to yourself by comparing your connotation of 'father' and 'stay-at-home dad'.

And as I also asked in my OP, who do you think the replacement should be? Some random toe-the-party-line locum if they're from a bigger party? A by-election to elect a 1-year MP? Being an MP isn't like a job where the boss can just decide to upskill someone or pay overtime, because the 'boss' only gets to make any decision at rather infrequent elections.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by AperfectBalance)
If someone makes the choice to have a kid they have to live with the consequences, I would suggest they drop being an MP and focus on bringing up their children, I certainly wouldnt want to have an MP who had their skills diminished because they had to look after a kid.
This is a fair point to make until you realise that a) your parents had a child (you) so you are part of the problem and b) without people having kids, who is going to wipe your @rse when you are old? Society needs children.

But that is kind of irrelivant. It has been illegal to discriminate against pregnant women for a while. It is also a fact that equal societies are happier societies all round.

You're views will likely change as you get older and eith have kids, or your friends have kids.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Good bloke)
You are misinformed on both counts. MPs deal with constituents' problems in surgeries, and MPs get full pay no matter whether they serve or not.
MPs aren't required to have surgeries with their constituents, just as they aren't 'required' to listen to their constituents at all.

I am suggesting that we apply the same maternity pay rules that exist for women already to women who are MPs; under that system, MPs who take maternity leave would not receive their full pay. If MPs get paid regardless of what they do/don't do to represent their constituents then this issue is redundant.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by ThomH97)
Is that really the attitude you want MPs to have, they can do whatever because the electorate will have the chance to boot them out in 5 years? I mean, it's true that that is the bare minimum you can get away with (you can only be recalled if you are convicted, and even then it's a struggle, see Fiona Onasanya), but I would hope to have a higher standard of behaviour than that from MPs.

What would you want your MP to do, once elected to Parliament?
I'd be much happier with an MP who wants to represent their constituents but can't (because of family reasons) than one who simply can't be arsed. I personally wouldn't mind it if my MP took a year out (or less) to care for their new infant. Any longer and I would begin to start concerns, sure.
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AperfectBalance
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(Original post by ByEeek)
This is a fair point to make until you realise that a) your parents had a child (you) so you are part of the problem and b) without people having kids, who is going to wipe your @rse when you are old? Society needs children.

But that is kind of irrelivant. It has been illegal to discriminate against pregnant women for a while. It is also a fact that equal societies are happier societies all round.

You're views will likely change as you get older and eith have kids, or your friends have kids.
Yeah my parents had me when they were in a position that having me would not ruin their careers, my argument was not "NEVER HAVE KIDS KIDS ARE BAD" it was just that if you decide to have a kid you live with the consequences.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by AperfectBalance)
Yeah my parents had me when they were in a position that having me would not ruin their careers, my argument was not "NEVER HAVE KIDS KIDS ARE BAD" it was just that if you decide to have a kid you live with the consequences.
Agreed. Except there is never a good time to have kids and there are always consequences. And society as a whole is so anti-parent in the workplace that the most parents have no choice but to take a massive hit. But it doesn't have to be like that as Scandinavian countries have shown. I find it rather sad that so many people in our country wear the badge of "Sh1t work-life balance" with such pride and honour. It feels that if you aren't putting in a solid 70 hour working week for £30k, you are somehow failing yourself. How pathetic! Do we live to work or work to live? Having kids is fantastic. Surely we should be celebrating that. You seem to be wanting to punish people who have the audacity to have off spring that will one day be looking after you and paying your pension.
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Burton Bridge
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Agreed. Except there is never a good time to have kids and there are always consequences. And society as a whole is so anti-parent in the workplace that the most parents have no choice but to take a massive hit. But it doesn't have to be like that as Scandinavian countries have shown. I find it rather sad that so many people in our country wear the badge of "Sh1t work-life balance" with such pride and honour. It feels that if you aren't putting in a solid 70 hour working week for £30k, you are somehow failing yourself. How pathetic! Do we live to work or work to live? Having kids is fantastic. Surely we should be celebrating that. You seem to be wanting to punish people who have the audacity to have off spring that will one day be looking after you and paying your pension.
I can't disagree with any of that, get Brexit out the way and we may agree more often
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Except there is never a good time to have kids and there are always consequences.
The good time to have kids is always 25 years ago.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
The good time to have kids is always 25 years ago.
I always remember my boss telling me after the birth of my eldest that the first eighteen years are the hardest.

He lied.
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tenacity
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
The good time to have kids is always 25 years ago.
25 years ago my mother had to fight to remain at chambers when pregnant with me. It was only due to the intervention of Stephen Sedley QC that she was able to. What does the Bar today think about pregnancies among its barristers and does this differ to clerks and other staff?
Last edited by tenacity; 4 weeks ago
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dsmith23
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MPs are compensated well to do a job that holds quite a large amount of responsibility. Surely part of this responsibility should be to ensure that they take reasonable precautions to ensure that they are fit and healthy for the period of time they hold the role? Which would mean... not getting pregnant?
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Agreed. Except there is never a good time to have kids and there are always consequences. And society as a whole is so anti-parent in the workplace that the most parents have no choice but to take a massive hit. But it doesn't have to be like that as Scandinavian countries have shown. I find it rather sad that so many people in our country wear the badge of "Sh1t work-life balance" with such pride and honour. It feels that if you aren't putting in a solid 70 hour working week for £30k, you are somehow failing yourself. How pathetic! Do we live to work or work to live? Having kids is fantastic. Surely we should be celebrating that. You seem to be wanting to punish people who have the audacity to have off spring that will one day be looking after you and paying your pension.
(Not relevant to the rest of the thread, but in response to the part in bold...)

I've encountered this so many times. Somewhat relevant, but back when we had The Beast From The East my entire city shut down. You could attempt to drive into the city centre but it would take you a good 3-4 hours on top of what you would normally expect. This is obviously far too long of a drive for some poxy office job so most people just stayed at home. Some, however, were determined to go in and work despite the fact that their work wasn't urgent (far from it) and it would take them to long to get there and get back home. Like... seriously!? God damn live your life and stop worrying about your work. One or two days off because of snow isn't a big deal.
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